Is Bubble (Boba) Tea Vegan?

Is Bubble Tea Vegan?

Is Bubble Tea vegan?

The fad of Bubble(Boba) tea has been steadily increasing in recent years. In some ways, it’s become a staple of the American diet as many people drink it as their daily cup of tea. In recent years, more people have been choosing to adopt a vegan lifestyle. You might think that all boba tea is vegan friendly; however, this isn’t always the case. To ensure that you stay on your plant-based diet, let us find out how is to your boba tea vegan friendly.

What are the ingredients in Bubble (Boba) Milk Tea drink?

A few ingredients can pull a vegan diet out of bounds when consuming bubble(boba) tea. Check to make sure your bubble tea is made with milk before you consume it.

Ingredients in a Boba milk Tea:

  • Tea
  • Boba Pearls
  • Sweetener
  • Milk


You can brew tea by infusing leaves, flowers, or other parts of the plants in hot water. The most common types of tea- green tea, black tea and white tea- are usually vegan friendly. Tea is one of the most common beverages consumed in the world.

Is Tapioca Boba Pearl in Bubble Tea drink vegan?

Boba, which is made from tapioca and starch from the cassava root, is usually considered vegan. The tapioca ball are most commonly added in sweeteners or flavorings. However, some Boba tea shops may use gelatin in their Boba products. Gelatins are usually derived from pigs or cows. There are also other types of ingredients that Boba tea can use instead of Tapioca Pearls to consider vegan.

Tapioca Boba Pearl alternatives that are considered vegan 

Instead of using Tapioca Pearls, other substitute ingredients that can be used to make vegan pearl milk tea. 

  • Glutinous Rice Flour Mochi Pearls
  • Jelly
  • Soy Tofu Pudding
  • Attap Seeds
  • Purple Yam and Sweet Potato
  • Beans

Glutinous Rice Flour Mochi Pearls

Glutinous rice flour, a gluten-free starch substitute, is made from short-grain glutinous rice or “sticky rice.” It thickens and binds other ingredients in Mochi recipes. Some shops can use Glutinous rice Flour instead of Tapioca Starch as their Boba. When using Glutinous Rice Flour for Mochi Style Pearls, you can even add additional flavors within your Mochi Pearls.


Some Boba Tea shops may substitute Jelly instead of using Tapioca Pearls. Some of you may wonder whether Bubble Tea Jelly is Vegan.

You can consider Jelly used in Bubble Tea as vegan if gelatin is not used to make the Jelly. Gelatin is derived from animal by-products. Alternatively, Jelly can be made with agar or an agar replacement-Agar-Agar, a flavorless jelly-like substance that comes from the cell walls of red algae.

Soy Tofu Puddings

Soy Tofu Puddings are considered vegan as the main ingredients are made from Soybeans. Soy Tofu Puddings are made by blending soybeans with water and straining the mixture into soy syrup. Lastly, a thickening agent like Gypsum Power or Agar-Agar can be added.

Sea Coconut – Attap Seeds

Attap Seeds or Palm Seeds are the unripe fruit of a nipa palm that grows in the mud near slow-moving tidal and river waters. They are trendy in desserts used in Southeast Asia.

Purple Yam & Sweet Potato

In some boba stores, Purple Yam and Sweet Potato may be used instead of regular Boba pearls. As they are rooted vegetables, they are usually cut into small cubes and boiled till soft before adding to your favorite Boba drink.

Sweeteners for Vegan-friendly Boba Milk Tea

When selecting sweeteners for your Boba Milk Tea, bear in mind that honey is definitely not vegan-friendly. However, there are still many sweeteners that you can select for Vegans.

  • Fructose
  • Sugar
  • Dates Syrup
  • Maple Syrup
  • Stevia


Fructose is an industrial processed, artificial sweetener that can have a variety of fruit tastes. If no gelatin is used, it can be considered to be vegan.

Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is simply finished product of the sap gathered by tapping the maple tree. The sap is heated to evaporate the water. Maple syrup gets its distinctive taste and is generally considered more healthy than sugar. Maple syrup is a natural sweetener. Ensure butter or honey is not added into the Maple Syrup mix so that it is vegan friendly.


Stevia is a sugar substitute derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. Stevia sweeteners help lower calorie consumption by providing low-carb, low-fat alternative boba milk tea drink.

Stevia for vegan friendly drinks
Fructose Yes
Sugar SyrupYes
Dates Syrup Yes
Stevia Yes
Common Sweeteners used in Bubble Milk Tea

Non-Dairy alternatives for Vegan Boba Milk tea 

Milk is the number one reason for not being vegan, and there are other non-dairy alternatives for making your Bubble Milk tea vegan.

  • Almond Milk
  • Soy Milk
  • Coconut Milk
  • Oat Milk
  • Macadamia Milk
  • Fruit juice

Vegan Bubble Tea for Bubble Tea Shop and Franchise Owners

For Bubble Tea Shop Owners and Bubble Tea Franchise owners, the above ingredient suggestion will allow you to make your boba tea drink vegan. By doing so, will create a better experience for all customers. With so many options, you can quickly concoct new boba tea drink flavor to satisfy both vegan and even non-vegan customers to try out vegan-friendly Boba tea options.

To Sum Up

Boba tea drink can be made vegan-friendly easily. If you are not sure whether boba drinks contain animal by-products, you can also ask the shop owners if their products include gelatin or not. If it does then, they can not be considered as vegan. You may also specify that you want a vegan-friendly bubble tea drink and should not include milk and honey. Hopefully, this clears up for making your Bubble tea vegan.

Scroll to Top